…about TJ & Tosc:
«A thought-provoking meditation on the future, with enough adventure to make readers stop and cheer.»
Thibault Worth, Reporter, NPR, BBC, KQED
«With futurist sensibilities and deft prose, Rafidi extrapolates the ecological concerns on today’s horizon over four generations. A truly interesting and entertaining read.»
Justin Dossey, Founder, PodOmatic
«A masterpiece from science fiction’s newest champion.»
Seth Rosenblatt, Senior Editor, CNET
«TJ & Tosc’s protagonist, Raymond, leads the reader on a wild ride through personal transformation atop the colossal machinery of cybernetic technology.»
Ross Pruden, Infinite Distribution
«I can’t wait to see what’s next.»
TJ & Tosc., 4 star Amazon review from Stephen Kirin
«Suhail Rafidi is the Dogstar illuminating mans metaphorical run through a dystopian wilderness with an ever attentive canine mojo, its breaths match the pace of the read.»
Great Science Fiction novel!, 5 star Amazon review from Pegalou
«I just finished reading “TJ & TOSC.” It is one of those books you can’t put down and must keep reading constantly. I definitely think it would make an excellent Sci-Fi movie. Made me think of “I am Legend” and “Hunger Games” in parts of it, but it has its own energy and imagination. Think it has the potential to have a prequel and sequel to it as well. Hope it gets into the right hands to be made into a movie. It definitely is an edge of your seat novel, but has depth and emotion in it. Definitely recommend it.»
Quite enjoyable, 4 star Amazon review from Jnette
«To be honest, I do not typically read this genre. Science-fiction tends to be over my head and I get lost in the descriptions of things that my mind can’t seem to imagine. However, I found myself reading this book and instantly drawn into the story. The first chapters opening the world in which the story will take place and letting me into the minds of the characters I will follow throughout the tale. As a person who loves crime novels, the element of mystery, crime, and fugitive survival created a layer of intensity that kept me going throughout the story. I would recommend this book to someone who is new to the genre and interested in exploring negative utopian issues. I was very entertained and look forward to another novel from Rafidi.»
Great first novel, 4 star Amazon review from Roger Amrhein
«Started a little slow but turned into a can’t put down.
I can’t wait for his next effort.
This book would make a great movie.»
TJ and Tosc triumphs, 5 star Amazon review from Perfectbeing
«This novel is a complete triumph. I was engaged from the start and I couldn’t put it down. The sci-fi technological aspects are fascinating and seemingly accurate. But this is more than you’re run of the mill science fiction that bases it’s merit on brainy inventions. The character development invested me into the characters personalities, struggles, and transformation. Rafidi puts you in this futuristic American landscape that is eerily familiar. I devoured this book, it’s a quick read, high on adventure, clever in it’s subtle social commentary and broader message, with twists and turns and a pay off that every great story has.»
Loved TJ & Tosc, 4 star Amazon review from AR
«Rafidi has extrapolated current environmental conditions and state of the art computer science into a world that is at once fascinating, scary and believable. The pace of the beginning hooks you in but there is some cumbersome (but necessary) exposition in the early chapters. Read on! The story gets good with characters you can relate to and plot twists that make for fast and enjoyable tale. I read almost the whole book in one sitting and I hope there is a sequel.»
A Fun First Novel, 4 star Amazon review from D. Gonzalez
«TJ and Tosc may not be a perfect book, but it’s loaded with pleasurable reading. The story moves quickly and although the ideas outpace the writing in many places, it’s quite the enjoyable read. The novel’s world building is both bizarre and oddly familiar. It lives and breathes by literalizing both the likely technological landscape and the inherent philosophical concepts that dog humanity. I was particularly impressed by the way the novel so expertly addresses the consequences of our dedication to “progress” as a universal good. Like any dogma, presupposing the inherent good of technological progress is riddled with dangers, both technologically speaking and in terms of our humanity. Progress at all costs, well, it doesn’t happen without costs. In this respect, the book is at its most powerful.
As other reviews have pointed out, like many first novels, it’s not without it’s flaws. In particular, the excessive use of dialogue tags that while clear, muddle up the flow of the novel and can make it clunky at times. Some of the characters are a bit too “goody two shoes” in my opinion, but that doesn’t get in the way of the enjoyment of the book substantially. In fact, it’s testament to the compelling and deeply philosophical ideas that these issues don’t come close to trumping the books merits.
I often enjoy the flawed, but raw nature of first novels. TJ and Tosc may not be perfect, few books are, but it’s still got a ton to offer. It’s science fiction that not only looks to the future, but looks inward as well. We need more fiction that sees past its own cleverness, that recognizes that the fascination with outer space is in many ways a fascination with inner space. A few years back I read an article that explored how popular films and stories about other worlds are, despite the near certainty that no one will ever get out of our solar system in our lifetime. Even if transportation was to undergo in the next fifty years technological advancement akin to our movement from horse and buggy to spaceships, none of us is likely to find himself travelling beyond the confines of our solar system. We are here to stay, and Suhail Rafidi has aptly characterized the struggle as both a desire for technological progress and an even deeper journey into the mysteries within.»
Really liked it, 4 star Goodreads review from Steve Beeson
«It is a strange story of how I came to hear about this book. I actually found out about it through my obsession with finding new music. So, earlier this year, I discover a band called “Perfect Beings” (whose debut album is fantastic, by the way). And come to find out, their self-titled debut album has a liner note: “Loosely based on the novel ‘TJ and Tosc’ by Suhail Rafidi. So I order the book online, and when I get it in the mail, the return address is the author himself! I suppose I am an early adopter. Anyway, I found the book to be an enjoyable read, despite a few flaws. Let’s just get those out of the way first.
What I didn’t like: The writing style in this book is incredibly terse, jerky, and completely unsubtle. There is a lot of ” This happens. Then this happens. Then this happens” with little consideration of the flow of the language. Also, the narration is awkwardly put in third-person omniscient and present tense, which exacerbates the jerkiness of the writing. The narration is a bit too forthcoming with each character’s feelings and emotions – “She feels sad because this happens” rather than just showing us and letting the reader figure out for himself.
What I liked about it: The end-world scenario presented in the book was very extensively researched and seemed completely plausible, given the book’s explanations of backgrounds and technologies. The author really did his homework. Also, the story felt really heartfelt, as if a lot of effort and care went into the making of this book. And, despite its flaws, it is a really interesting read that is easy to pick up and hard to put down. All in all, I feel a lot of heart went into writing this. I give it 4 stars. P.S. It was a great idea to have Perfect Beings write the musical companion to this book. Much of the fun of reading this book came from identifying lyrics and themes that made their way into each song on the album. If you are interested in either the book or the album, do yourself a favor and pick up both. They really do enhance the enjoyment of one another.»
A fun read!, 5 star Amazon review from Treemckeys
«Taking into account multiple areas of current events including climate change, technological advances, and globalist conspiracy theory, Rafidi utilizes methods of causality to paint an Earth that is strangely and excitingly believable. Lots of action and moving which gives a feeling of wanting to know what comes next, and unique characters that develop and change as the story goes on. A very enjoyable read!»
A great first novel by a budding talent, 3 star Amazon review from Thibault Worth
«Tj & Tosc combines a post-apocalyptic, machine-filled world reminiscent of “The Terminator” and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” with a futuristic, oppressive regime from Orwell’s “1984.” What’s new about the book is less the bleak future landscape, than how our present day concerns about sustainability tie in directly with the future nightmare. Rafidi cleverly fasts forwards today’s debate about GMOs into a future where nutrients in crops are kept under genetic lock and key. And that’s just one of the brilliant and new ideas in the book. Rafidi’s notions of where things could be going come off feeling more powerful and compelling than the real-life debates over GMOs crops and farmer’s markets. He’s still getting his sea legs as a novelist, and the writing is clunky at times. But TJ & Tosc is well worth a read nevertheless, and Rafidi, a writer to watch.»
A challenge at first but an excellent read, 5 star Amazon review from Amira565
«I first started the book a while back when it first came out and ended up putting it aside for a while because I found it hard to follow after the first couple of chapters. I picked it up again recently and started to read it from the beginning. I really liked it, especially the 2nd. half. I have to admit that the first few chapters were a bit hard for me to follow but I can understand that now that I have finished it. It had too much narrative that we needed to know for later, but at that point in the book it was a bit overwhelming (at least for me). Now that I finished it I can see how you need to write another book just for the first half of the book. For me, it would have been easier to follow if it had more “conversations” between the characters like the 2nd. Part of the book did. It’s kind of like “Star Wars” where we got to see the last 3 parts first back in the ’70s and ’80s and then the story went back to the beginning years later.
Towards the end I couldn’t put the book down. It’s a great story; I want to read a sequel and a prequel as well. Great Job Suhail Rafidi.
TJ & Tosc: A Field Guide for Life After Western Culture»
Kept me looking forward to my train commutes so I could read TJ & Tosc!, 5 star Amazon review from Aaron Avallon
«Rafidi did an amazing job developing character and making you feel like you were living in the plausible future when reading the book. It was definitely an escape! Think of all the looming environmental and political issues today and how that might make the world look many years from now. I absolutely loved reading TJ & Tosc and couldn’t wait for the next page. What’s next Rafidi???»